The post-apocalyptic aftermath of a nuclear war could have been even bleaker by having cold-blooded psychopaths in charge of the leftovers of society, it has been revealed.
Newly released secret documents reveal the British government was advised in 1982 to install psychopaths in positions of authority, in the event of a shattering nuclear war.
The documents reasoned that emotionally dead, calculating people with zero empathy for other people or any moral code, would be exactly what was needed by a society trying to rebuild itself after an A-bomb apocalypse.
Unsurprisingly, the suggestion by Home Office scientist Jane Hogg failed to find much – or indeed any – support in the corridors of power. One critic of the idea said psychopaths were too dangerous.
The prospect of a nightmare future ruled by the seriously mentally ill was the subject of a government document entitled 'Regenerate'. Officials played war games to envision what the impact of an attack would be upon law and order in society.
Advocating psychopaths because they are "very good in crises", Hogg wrote in the report: "It is generally accepted that around 1% of the population are psychopaths. These are the people who could be expected to show no psychological effects in the communities which have suffered the severest losses.
"They have no feelings for others, nor moral code and tend to be very intelligent and logical".
Interestingly, research indicates people with psychopathic character traits are disproportionately to be found in the upper echelons of the corporate world.
According to the Harvard Business Review they are bred for success by being naturally "cunning, manipulative, untrustworthy, unethical, parasitic, and utterly remorseless. There's nothing they won't do, and no one they won't exploit, to get what they want".
Fortunately for Britain, the nuclear attack never came during the Cold War, meaning operation 'Regenate' was shelved at the National Archives, where it rested until being de-classified.